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Nathan Vernau
updated: 01/05/2010
website: www.nathanvernau.com
 
   
 
 
     
 
Artwork Title
art-medium
art-year
dimensions
Click thumbnails for full view:
 
As much as I'd like to be, I'm not in this picture
Be a man
I know I'm not, but sometimes I feel that way
I try to do the right thing, but I don't know what that is
I've got everything to worry about
It's all excess
It's always about that
It's okay to celebrate when necessary
Just be okay with it
My mind will get the best of me
Sometimes I get so close
Those warm feelings always escape me
Timing is everything
 
 
Portfolio Keywords:  autobiographical, humor, identity, illustration, narrative, portraiture, psychological
 
 
As much as I'd like to be, I'm not in this picture by Nathan Vernau
As much as I'd like to be, I'm not in this picture
graphite, color pencil, paper, bag
2009
24" x  17" 
Be a man by Nathan Vernau
Be a man
graphite, color pencil, tape, paper
2008
25" x  20" 
I know I'm not, but sometimes I feel that way by Nathan Vernau
I know I'm not, but sometimes I feel that way
graphite, color pencil, tape, ink, paper
2009
25" x  20" 
I try to do the right thing, but I don't know what that is by Nathan Vernau
I try to do the right thing, but I don't know what that is
graphite, color pencil, paper, bag
2009
24" x  17" 
I've got everything to worry about by Nathan Vernau
I've got everything to worry about
graphite, color pencil, tape, ink, googly eyes, paper
2009
20" x  25" 
It's all excess by Nathan Vernau
It's all excess
graphite, color pencil, paper
2009
40" x  25" 
It's always about that by Nathan Vernau
It's always about that
graphite, color pencil, tape, ink, paper
2009
25" x  20" 
It's okay to celebrate when necessary by Nathan Vernau
It's okay to celebrate when necessary
graphite, color pencil, tape, paper
2008
25" x  20" 
Just be okay with it by Nathan Vernau
Just be okay with it
graphite, color pencil, paper
2009
25" x  20" 
My mind will get the best of me by Nathan Vernau
My mind will get the best of me
graphite, color pencil, paper
2009
25" x  20" 
Sometimes I get so close by Nathan Vernau
Sometimes I get so close
graphite, color pencil, string, tape, paper
2008
25" x  20" 
Those warm feelings always escape me by Nathan Vernau
Those warm feelings always escape me
graphite, color pencil, paper, tape, ink, googly eyes, string, bag
2008
24" x  17" 
Timing is everything by Nathan Vernau
Timing is everything
graphite, color pencil, tape, ink, googly eyes, paper
2009
25" x  20" 

Artist Statement
Artist Statement

The need to communicate is important. Being heavily influenced by comic books and the stories I read as a child, the idea of narrative and sequence has become vital in this series of drawings. By animating my body language, using symbols, and adding text I create a visual conversation, with the viewer and myself. The words, phrases, and lyrics that appear offer multiple interpretations and double meanings that signify an inability to effectively communicate with others. I suspect the feelings and emotions I have depicted are universal, although they come from a specific, personal experience.

Drawing gives me the immediacy to put these thoughts onto paper, and allows me to make unique, individual pieces of work. For me there is a special quality in a one-of-a-kind drawing that is celebrated in becoming a precious object. Making items from paper and applying them to the surface transitions a two-dimensional object into a quasi-three-dimensional object, giving it a physical presence and adding another layer of complexity to the images that make up my compositions.

These objects that I include along with my figure come from real and unreal places creating the imaginary landscape of my mind. Precarious cinder blocks allude to instability or insecurity, while other objects, like hearts, are placed upside-down suggesting a constant confusion and misdirection of emotions. The use of different costumes creates humor along with alternate identities or personas of myself. Suits, boxer shorts, long johns, and bag-head’s all suggest different stages of confidence and inner conflict that I find myself in. The color choices of pink, red, and blue reference gender, emotion, and love, while creating vibrancy and heightened intensity for the moment at hand.

By drawing myself in these self-deprecating poses I am able to laugh away some of the troubles that cloud my head. This body of work chronicles the last six months of my life, cycling through frustration, happiness, confusion, and disappointment. The self-portraits have become the most direct and honest way for me to express the thoughts and feelings that occupy my mind.

Nathan Vernau,
April 2009

Artist Bio / CV
Nathan Vernau       
ntv8@yahoo.com
nathanvernau.com
 
  Education
2009     MFA, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2008     MA, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2005     BFA, University of Wisconsin-Stout

  Solo Exhibitions
2009     “Love, Lust & Sex”
7th Floor Gallery, UW-Madison

2008    “A Celebration of the Pathetic”
    The Project Lodge, Madison, WI
 
  Selected Group Exhibitions
2009    “81st Annual Student Art Show”
Wisconsin Union Galleries, UW-Madison

    “Madison MFA Show”
Gail Floether Steinhilber Art Gallery, UW-Oshkosh

2008    “In Cahoots”
Overture Center for the Arts, Madison, WI

“Interior”
7th Floor Gallery, UW-Madison

2008    “Third Gear”
    7th Floor Gallery, UW-Madison

    “2D”
    The Project Lodge, Madison, WI

    “Two-Timed”
    7th Floor Gallery, Madison, WI

2007    “First Year Review”
    7th Floor Gallery, Madison, WI

2006    “Paper Work”
    734 Gallery, Madison, WI
    Shotgun House, Portland, OR
 

  Publications
2008    Pink Factory, Baltimore Zine Project, curated by Derrick Buisch
2007    Chop Shop, Baltimore Zine Project, curated by Derrick Buisch
2005    Prometheus 2005, juried publication of student art and creative writing, UW-Stout

  Awards
2009    Best in Show, 81st Annual Student Art Show, Union Galleries, UW-Madison
    Purchase Award, 81st Annual Student Art Show, Union Galleries, UW-Madison

  Collections
Union Gallery Permanent Collection, UW-Madison

  Speaking
2008    Art Colloquium, UW-Madison
2006    Art Colloquium, UW-Madison

  Work Experience
2007 – 2009    Memorial Library – Digital Content Group, UW-Madison
2008        Project Assistant for Prof. Derrick Buisch, UW-Madison
2006 – 2008    Chazen Museum of Art – Gift Shop, Madison, WI